Orioles hitters go on power-walk, rip Mariners, 15-1 Johnson walks 10

Devereaux hits slam

May 02, 1992|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

In four innings last night, the Orioles did their best to demolish the notion that their spacious new Camden Yards playpen is a pitchers' park, hitting four home runs on the way to a 15-1 pasting of the Seattle Mariners before 45,451 last night.

Mike Devereaux led the barrage, driving in six runs, five of them coming on two homers, a fifth inning grand slam and a seventh inning bases-empty shot.

In addition, Chris Hoiles, Leo Gomez and Bill Ripken also went deep to run the Orioles' home record to 7-1, the best home mark in the American League.

The win kept the Orioles (14-8) tied with New York for second place in the AL East.

The Orioles made the most of Seattle starter Ranbdy Johnson's wildness. The 6-foot-10 left-hander walked 10, three of them with the bases loaded, in just 4 1/3 innings.

The 10 walks tied Johnson's career high for one game, which came last July in a game at Milwaukee, where he allowed only one hit in four innings.

Last night, Johnson, who has led the majors in walks the past two years, gave up singles to Chris Hoiles, Bill Ripken and David Segui, but he also walked in three runs.

Every batter in the Orioles starting lineup, save for Cal and Bill Ripken, got a base on balls from Johnson, who threw 103 pitches, 58 out of the strike zone.

Meanwhile, Orioles starter Ben McDonald (3-0) pitched a effectively, striking out four and walking none in a complete game.

He gave up just five hits, with the only sizable blemish being a booming home run to left by Jay Buhner in the fifth.

By then, the Orioles had put four runs on the board, and in the bottom of the fifth, combined Johnson's lack of control and Devereaux's power to put the game out of reach.

The center fielder collected his second two-home run game of his career and the grand slam, a 373-foot blast to left field was also the second of his career, while the six RBI tied a career-high.

Randy Milligan led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on Hoiles' single to left. Leo Gomez then walked to load the bases, and after Segui struck out, Chito Martinez forced in a run with a walk, also forcing Johnson out of the game.

Reliever Jim Acker walked Bill Ripken for the sixth Baltimore run, and after Brady Anderson reached on a force play, Devereaux slammed his drive to left.

In the seventh, Devereaux, Hoiles and Gomez connected for home runs, and in the eighth, Bill Ripken hit his first homer in 390 at-bats, dating back to a September, 15, 1990 game in Toronto, a shot that clanked off the left-field foul pole.

The Orioles got their first scoring opportunity early when Johnson, who has been hampered throughout his career by wildness, was unable to find the plate in the second inning.

With one out, the 6-foot-10 left-hander walked four straight -- Chris Hoiles, Leo Gomez, David Segui and Chito Martinez -- to force in the first Orioles run.

Bill Ripken followed with a bloop to right that eluded diving outfielder Jay Buhner for a single, driving in the second run.

Brady Anderson walked to force in Segui with the third run, and Mike Devereaux grounded to second to drive in Ripken.

Cal Ripken grounded to third to end the inning, but the Orioles had scored four runs on just one hit. Johnson, who has led the majors in walks for the past two seasons, gave up five walks, throwing 37 pitches, only 14 for strikes.

Johnson, who threw a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers in June 1990, averaged 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 1991, becoming one of only five pitchers in major-league history to average 10 or more strikeouts while pitching 200 or more innings in a season.

But he also walked 6.79 per nine innings last season, the highest mark among pitchers with at least 100 innings.

After the inning, Seattle manager Bill Plummer was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Larry Young about Johnson's pitch location.

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